UN

Extraction of raw materials could rise 60% by 2060 – and making mining ‘greener’ won’t stop the damage

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Due to be published later this month by the UN’s International Resource Panel, it highlights how global consumption of raw materials, having increased four-fold since 1970, is set to rise by a further 60% by 2060.

Key Points: 
  • Due to be published later this month by the UN’s International Resource Panel, it highlights how global consumption of raw materials, having increased four-fold since 1970, is set to rise by a further 60% by 2060.
  • Already, the technosphere — the totality of human-made products, from airports to Zimmer frames — is heavier than the biosphere.
  • The mining industry requires the annexation of large tracts of land for extraction and transportation; its energy consumption has more than tripled since the 1970s.

Critical raw materials

  • “Critical” and “strategic” raw materials are those that face supply risk either in their scarcity or their geographical concentration, and which the major powers require for their military sectors and for competitive advantage in tech industries.
  • Right now, the race for critical materials is geopolitical: each major power wants to secure supplies in allied countries.
  • Critical raw materials are indispensable to the green transition too.

Urban mining

  • There is scope for urban mining: for example, locating copper from inactive underground power cables or recovering elements from construction waste, sewage, incinerator ash and other garbage zones.
  • The current economic system makes extractive mining cheaper and easier than urban mining.
  • Urban mining by contrast is often labour-intensive and requires a complex and state-enforced regulation of waste streams.
  • In short, there is nothing intrinsically “green” about urban mining or the circular economy.

Is degrowth the answer?

  • The insufficiency of engineering and green growth programmes has informed the waxing interest in “degrowth” strategies.
  • According to degrowth advocate Jason Hickel, political means should be forged through which to plan priority sectors.
  • Reducing luxury and wasteful sectors such as SUVs, aviation and fast fashion would free up critical materials for the green transition.


Gareth Dale does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Armenia Refugee Response: Education Cannot Wait Announces US$1 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the recent mass influx of refugees into Armenia, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1 million in new grant funding to reach children who need support the most.

Key Points: 
  • NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the recent mass influx of refugees into Armenia, Education Cannot Wait ( ECW ) announced today US$1 million in new grant funding to reach children who need support the most.
  • The 12-month grant will be delivered by UNICEF – in coordination with Armenia's Ministry of Education, Science.
  • Culture and Sports and the Education Sector Group – and will expand access to early learning for refugee and host community children.
  • "This is the first time Education Cannot Wait has provided a grant dedicated exclusively to early childhood education.

Armenia Refugee Response: Education Cannot Wait Announces US$1 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the recent mass influx of refugees into Armenia, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1 million in new grant funding to reach children who need support the most.

Key Points: 
  • NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the recent mass influx of refugees into Armenia, Education Cannot Wait ( ECW ) announced today US$1 million in new grant funding to reach children who need support the most.
  • The 12-month grant will be delivered by UNICEF – in coordination with Armenia's Ministry of Education, Science.
  • Culture and Sports and the Education Sector Group – and will expand access to early learning for refugee and host community children.
  • "This is the first time Education Cannot Wait has provided a grant dedicated exclusively to early childhood education.

Why do Israelis and the rest of the world view the Gaza conflict so differently? And can this disconnect be overcome?

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Once the fighting stops, the world’s attention will shift to tough “day after” negotiations, which would necessitate, among other things, painful and risky concessions from both sides.

Key Points: 
  • Once the fighting stops, the world’s attention will shift to tough “day after” negotiations, which would necessitate, among other things, painful and risky concessions from both sides.
  • Given the vast deficits of trust and favour between Israelis and Palestinians, such concessions will be extremely difficult to achieve.
  • And while learning about the tragedies of others can support healing and reconciliation processes, turning victimhood into a competition has produced polarisation and distrust.

How Israelis are viewing the war

  • More than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed so far, and many more are still under the rubble.
  • However, Israelis don’t see on their screens what the rest of the world sees.
  • Read more:
    Reflections on hope during unprecedented violence in the Israel-Hamas war

A sense of betrayal

  • In their worst nightmares, Israelis could not imagine or make sense of the support for the Hamas attack, or the widespread denial that atrocities had occurred at all.
  • Some of the victims on October 7 had for years been active members of the peace movement.
  • This has been more likely the case on the political left and in the centre, where many people have lost a sense of security and hope.
  • The only thing animating some calls for a ceasefire deal now is the ongoing risk to the hostages and the sense of national responsibility for their fate.

The international campaign for Palestine

  • For much of the world, the never-ending violations of Palestinians’ rights by Jewish settlers, the Israeli state and Israeli security forces have legitimised the struggle for a free Palestine, many times over.
  • However, anger at injustices should not lead to support – or even acquiescence – for the killing of civilians, by either side.
  • Not because this objective is more important than others, but because without it, there will be no end to the occupation.

The ‘day after’ solution

  • Hate comes easily in the face of injustices, as does empathy for the suffering on one own’s side.
  • It is much harder to empathise with the misfortunes of “others” who may or may not have brought their misery upon themselves.
  • Those who have been severely aggrieved may struggle to apply the same yardstick to others, but the rest of us could and should.


Eyal Mayroz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Migratory animals face mass extinction – but as a conservationist I’m optimistic

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Recognised threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and overexploitation but new analyses suggest that migratory species are faring particularly badly.

Key Points: 
  • Recognised threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and overexploitation but new analyses suggest that migratory species are faring particularly badly.
  • The global extinction risk is increasing for all migratory species.
  • I’m writing this in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species.

Status update

  • Worse still, they suggest that the extinction risk is increasing for all migratory species, including those not included under the convention.
  • Populations of fish included under the convention have declined on average by 90% since 1970.
  • Many species under the convention that need or would significantly benefit from international cooperation, are identified as high priorities for further conservation action based on their conservation status and biological vulnerability.
  • Understanding the scope and severity of these threats where they occur is therefore essential to informing conservation action, especially in the context of the triple planetary crises.

Effective action

  • There are various reasons why such agreements are not always as effective as they could be.
  • This has proven key to catalysing concerted conservation action for the saiga.
  • In the last 15 years, new knowledge of the saiga antelope’s ecology, migration and trade has been generated and effective anti-poaching measures have been implemented.
  • These include evaluating management approaches, sustainable use of the species, stockpile management, building the saiga conservation network and identifying key research needs along international supply chains.

Catalysing cross-border conservation

  • This landmark meeting has been positive and I’ve noticed a renewed sense of commitment to improve the conservation of migratory species.
  • Conservation measures should be context-specific, applied at relevant scales, and socially legitimate among local communities and Indigenous peoples if they are to be successful.
  • Renewed commitment to conservation solutions identified in this report could build political will to act together.


Dan Challender receives funding from the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) through the Trade, Development, and the Environment Hub and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and has previously received funding from the National Geographic Society. He is CITES Focal Point for the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and is a member of the IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group.

T-Mobile Achieves Record-Breaking Uplink Speeds with Another 5G First

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today announced it achieved record-breaking uplink speeds of 345 Mbps on its 5G standalone (SA) network in a recent test leveraging a new feature called UL Tx switching.

Key Points: 
  • T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today announced it achieved record-breaking uplink speeds of 345 Mbps on its 5G standalone (SA) network in a recent test leveraging a new feature called UL Tx switching.
  • UL Tx switching is a groundbreaking technology that enables seamless switching and a combination of different frequencies, effectively creating more uplink capacity and higher uplink speed.
  • In other words, it's like taking the 5G superhighway and adding new faster lanes with spare capacity for traffic to zoom faster than ever.
  • Greater uplink speeds are critical for customers when it comes to content creation and sharing, remote work and collaboration, gaming, emerging technologies like XR, and so much more.

Israel-Egypt peace treaty has stood the test of time over 45 years: expert explains its significance

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

The peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, signed in 1979 to end hostilities and normalise relations between them, turns 45 on 26 March. The Conversation Africa asked Ofir Winter, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, who studies Egyptian politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, for his insights on the peace deal and the key challenging moments since it was signed.When and why did the peace treaty come into force?It marked the first treaty of its kind between an Arab country and Israel.

Key Points: 


The peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, signed in 1979 to end hostilities and normalise relations between them, turns 45 on 26 March. The Conversation Africa asked Ofir Winter, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, who studies Egyptian politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, for his insights on the peace deal and the key challenging moments since it was signed.

When and why did the peace treaty come into force?

  • It marked the first treaty of its kind between an Arab country and Israel.
  • Since then, five more Arab countries – Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan – have made peace with Israel.
  • The peace deal, and its consequences, are viewed as having reshaped the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict for the better.
  • And it wanted to strengthen its ties with the United States, by being at peace with its ally, Israel.

What challenges has the treaty faced?

  • Since then, the Israeli embassy has left its previous permanent residence and operates on a reduced scale and with a lower profile.
  • Read more:
    Hamas-Israeli conflict: what's at stake for Egypt

    However, past crises did not escalate to the point of suspending the peace agreement.

  • Egypt also benefits from intelligence cooperation with Israel in the fight against terrorism in Sinai.

Gaza conflict and the peace treaty

  • Even before the current war, Egypt had long been concerned about alleged Israeli plots to resolve the Gaza issue at its expense.
  • According to the military appendix of the 1979 peace agreement, areas C and D near the Egyptian-Israeli border are subject to demilitarisation.
  • A mechanism of military coordination between the Israeli and Egyptian defence forces monitors the parties’ commitments in the peace agreement.
  • Even amid the tensions stemming from the war in Gaza, Egypt has no intention of abrogating its peace treaty with Israel.
  • These include recalling the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, before resorting to more severe actions like suspending the peace treaty or some of its aspects, which could be harmful for both sides.


Ofir Winter does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

New study reveals four critical barriers to building healthier Canadian cities

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The 15-minute city is all about accessibility, time efficiency and expanding options for everyone, not just the most well-off.

Key Points: 
  • The 15-minute city is all about accessibility, time efficiency and expanding options for everyone, not just the most well-off.
  • Achieving this goal, and designing healthier spaces, begins with a comprehensive understanding of how urban environments impact our health and well-being — along with a realistic look at the current barriers to healthier urban design.

Designing better spaces

  • Neighbourhoods with accessible public and community spaces and social events have been shown to improve mental health, increase happiness, and offer a sense of belonging and community.
  • At the same time, readily accessible grocery stores, community gardens and farmers’ markets have been shown to enhance mental, social and physical health.
  • This is where urban planning comes in as municipal policy-makers develop and implement policies, which can alter the structure, use and regulations of public spaces in cities.

Day-to-day challenges

  • While the importance of physical and mental health was widely acknowledged, a glaring gap exists in the recognition of the social dimension of health.
  • Administrative roadblocks, such as a lack of co-ordination between, and within, provincial and municipal governments, can prevent access to crucial data needed for policy making.
  • Meanwhile, technical barriers — including the use of jargon and overly-technical language by the academic community — can interfere with the accessibility of academic literature.
  • This lack of co-ordination among different branches and divisions within a municipality can result in missed opportunities for collaboration.
  • Differences in the use of terminology can exacerbate the problem, causing confusion and impeding cross-sectoral work.
  • Conflicts between the objectives of various divisions, such as those between active transportation planners and traffic engineers, underscore the challenges posed by siloed governance.
  • 4 – Political ideologies get in the way Beyond bureaucratic challenges, differing political ideologies present a formidable barrier.

Overcoming these barriers

  • The journey towards creating healthier and more equitable cities is riddled with challenges.
  • From a lack of shared understanding, to inaccessible evidence, fragmented governance and legal limitations of municipalities and differing political ideologies, the barriers are multifaceted.
  • Akram Mahani holds funding from SHRF (Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation) and CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research).
  • Nazeem Muhajarine receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

SweetWater 420 Fest Announces 2024 Lineup With Headliners Beck and Slightly Stoopid

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

ATLANTA, Feb. 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SweetWater Brewing Company (“SweetWater Brewing” or “SweetWater”), the largest craft brewer in the Southeast and a subsidiary of Tilray Brands, Inc. (“Tilray” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: TLRY and TSX: TLRY), today announced the lineup for this year’s SweetWater 420 Fest, one of Atlanta’s most anticipated music festivals, which Beck and Slightly Stoopid will headline.

Key Points: 
  • ATLANTA, Feb. 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SweetWater Brewing Company (“SweetWater Brewing” or “SweetWater”), the largest craft brewer in the Southeast and a subsidiary of Tilray Brands, Inc. (“Tilray” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: TLRY and TSX: TLRY), today announced the lineup for this year’s SweetWater 420 Fest, one of Atlanta’s most anticipated music festivals, which Beck and Slightly Stoopid will headline.
  • Presented by SweetWater Brewing and Pullman Yards, the festival will be hosted at Atlanta’s Pullman Yards on April 20-21.
  • “As promised, SweetWater 420 is back for one of the biggest parties yet.
  • SweetWater 420 Fest is produced by SweetWater Brewing and Pullman Yards.

Resecurity Joins the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) To Elevate Global Cybersecurity Engagement

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Resecurity, Inc. (USA), a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity solutions provider protecting major Fortune 100 and government agencies globally, proudly announces its recent induction into the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Key Points: 
  • Resecurity, Inc. (USA), a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity solutions provider protecting major Fortune 100 and government agencies globally, proudly announces its recent induction into the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240214812478/en/
    ITU stands as a pillar in the realm of global communication.
  • Gene Yoo, CEO of Resecurity, emphasizes the significance of this milestone, stating, "Joining ITU is a testament to Resecurity's commitment to advancing cybersecurity on a global scale.
  • The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies.